Fit to be tiedDrawstrings were all over...


Fit to be tied

Drawstrings were all over the runways during the spring shows - cinching the tops of trousers, gathering the waist of a jacket, adding attention to the neckline of a sweater.

For the young and trendy, drawstrings are the essence of slouchy chic, turning pants into makeshift hip huggers and showing off well-toned midriffs. For aging baby boomers whose waistlines may look best covered, drawstrings can be forgiving and still fashionable. They even have a place in the more casual workplace.

But be forewarned: When the look goes awry, drawstring pants can resemble hospital scrubs or pajama bottoms.

Designers often recommend pairing them with close-fitting tops to offset the loose silhouette.

Frederic Fekkai, celebrity hair stylist to Geena Davis, Calista Flockhart and Ellen DeGeneres, has discovered it's not enough to fix women's tresses; he's now decided to tinker with their glasses.

Fekkai sees his first collection of sun-glasses as a natural extension of his work at his New York and Beverly Hills salons. He often talks with women about their frames while cutting their hair, encouraging them to look for more flattering shapes and sizes.

Fekkai took inspiration from his native Provence and named each style for the look he wanted to achieve: Formidable, Irresistible, Mysterieuse, Adorable and Ingenue. Eyeglass designer Alain Mikli created the frames. The stylist already has a line of cosmetics, hair accessories, scarves and handbags.

The glasses, which range from $135 to $165, are available at the downtown Sterling Optical and select Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Or call 800-829-8032. Smaller than a ruler, thinner than some paperbacks, the Leighton umbrella attempts to do what so far has seemed hTC impossible: keep people dry and unannoyed in the rain.

Generally, big umbrellas are cumbersome. Small ones are often cheap andunreliable. But these two models - one is flat, the other automatically opens and shuts - are impressive refinements.

"It's a basic travel item that they've fine-tuned," says Kim Richlin, owner of the TravelBug in Federal Hill, where sales of these umbrellas have been brisk this rainy spring. "A lot of people going to England especially are buying them to keep in their backpacks."

The flat version, at 1 inch deep and 10 inches long, fits easily into a knapsack, briefcase or pocketbook. The other model opens and closes with the push of a button, which makes getting out of a car or into the house easier in a downpour. Each weighs less than 8 ounces.

They come in a variety of patterns, ncluding florals and plaids, as well as solids such as black, royal and iris. Prices range from $20 to $25. Copper Wire blush. French Bread eye pencil. Sugar Plum mascara.

Welcome to Old Navy's cosmetics line. Introduced this month, the makeup is aimed at the teen set, with flavored glosses, shimmery eye shadows and frosted lipsticks. Everything is priced at $3.95 to appeal to the budget of a young adult - or her parents.

The company, which has more than 300 stores throughout the country and is owned by the Gap, decided to branch out after the success of its nail polishes.

Makeup colors will change, but shades like Snowcone, Chlorine and Chocolate Pudding made their debut this season. If those aren't vibrant enough, consider this: Old Navy promises different colors for holidays, including Halloween.

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